1. Are there prerequisites for the MSN program?
    The requirement is a BSN degree. Expected as part of your BSN curriculum:
    1. a nursing research course (nurses with research experience may challenge this requirement)
    2. a health assessment course — or equivalent. Fulfillment determined by each MSN specialty track. Not required for Nurse Leader Executive track

      You may take graduate statistics in advance, either through UNMC (see question #3) or through another university (preapproved transfer courses). Or you may take graduate statistics concurrently with your MSN course of study. See MSN specialty tracks.
  2. Do I need an undergraduate statistics course?
    No. The MSN program does not require a statistics course at undergraduate level. Note: Some graduate statistics courses may require an undergraduate course as a prerequisite. The University of Nebraska offers a dual undergraduate/graduate credit course.

  3. I missed the MSN application deadline. Are there any courses I can take in the meantime?
    Yes — graduate statistics can be taken by unclassified MSN students.

    1. Graduate statistics course may be taken through other universities
    2. See question #1 — second paragraph.
  4. I'd like to start MSN courses now but I'm not yet sure which specialty track I want. Are there any courses can I take?
    Graduate statistics is the only course you can take at this time without enrolling in a specialty track — that is, as an unclassified student.

  5. I can't decide between two specialty tracks. Any suggestions to help me choose?
    First, which type of care speaks most to your heart? Pursuing what you're passionate about — as opposed, for example, to a logical career choice alone — is likely to bring you lasting personal rewards in the years ahead.   Second, see if a specialty career matches your perceptions. Talk to an advanced practice nurse in the specialty you're considering. Can you shadow her/him for a day to get a taste for the type of care, patient interaction, health team collaboration, range of duties and administrative/leadership role involved?

  6. Are there core course requirements for all MSN students?
    Yes. No matter what specialty track you choose, you must complete 13 credits in 4 core curriculum courses, as follows:

      NRSG 602   Nursing Scholarship   4 cr  
      NRSG 604   Health Systems Innovation & Improvement   3 cr  
      NRSG 609   Health Promotion for Populations   3 cr  
      NRSG 603   Leadership in Nursing   3 cr  
              13 cr  
  7. I'm a new BSN graduate. Do I need nursing work experience before I apply to your MSN program?
    No. You may proceed directly from BSN to MSN studies. You may find the learning curve more challenging, especially in clinical requirements, without working experience — but the transition can be managed successfully with focus, diligence and dedication.   Most of our MSN students are part-time — and thus most have had a year or more of working experience before beginning MSN studies.

  8. I'm finishing my BSN. Can I apply now for your MSN program?
    Yes, if you're in your final semester before graduation.

  9. I struggled in my first year of college and it brought my BSN cumulative GPA a bit below 3.0. Can I still apply for the MSN program?
    We seek applicants with strong academic backgrounds. Each applicant, however, is considered on individual merits. If, for example, you were close to a 3.0 GPA and went on to establish an outstanding record in your work and leadership in professional nursing organizations, that aids likelihood of admission. Please understand that admission is competitive and capacity is limited.

  10. Is the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) required?

  11. Who do you suggest I ask to write my letters of recommendation?
    We recommend you ask people in nursing academics, service or administration, in private/staff physician roles, in health care management, in community service leadership, and so forth. Our interest is in hearing from people who can speak first-hand to ability to succeed in graduate study.   If you finished your BSN some time ago, there is no need to use your nursing school dean, program director or faculty members. You can include them if you wish.  

  12. How is the interview process handled?
    Many of our MSN students — and applicants — live far from any of our five campuses. Thus, interviews are commonly done by telephone — occasionally via two-way video, employing our distance-education technologies. In most cases, you'll talk to a faculty member in your specialty field of interest.

  13. Are there part-time as well as full-time plans of study?
    Yes. See MSN specialty tracks for details and options by specialty path. Most of our students work full time, with family responsibilities, and so pursue their MSN on a part-time basis. Flexible study plans are available to suit your schedule. A general guide:

    • full-time study is at least 9 credit hours per semester
    • part-time study is 3 to 6 hours per semester
  14. Are courses available online?
    Yes. MSN core curriculum courses are online, and others are delivered through a combination of distance technologies, including synchronous and asynchronous IP video. See online educational flexibility.

  15. How many credits are required for the MSN program?
    Required credit hours vary by specialty track — and further by nurse practitioner (NP) or clinical nurse specialist (CNS) preparation in a given specialty.   Required credits range, for example, from 39 for Women's Health NP to 66 for the dual/integrated Family NP/Psychiatric Mental Health NP.

  16. Can I satisfy clinical requirements locally?
    Yes. You can satisfy clinical requirements in your community or one nearby. You will work out local clinical sites — and local preceptors — with your faculty advisor. You'll work with your preceptor to arrange clinical calendar that fits both your schedules.

  17. When will I be expected to be on campus?
    This varies by your chosen specialty track — ask a student services representative for details. The majority of your coursework and faculty interaction is done via web-based distance technologies, and your clinical requirements may be met locally (see #16).

  18. What financial aid is available?
    Scholarships, student loans, graduate assistant positions and other forms of financial aid are available. Students living outside Nebraska may qualify for a limited number of non-resident tuition scholarships — a partial adjustment between non-resident and resident tuition rates. Nurse educator track students who meet certain academic and service requirements may qualify for tuition reimbursement/loan forgiveness programs through the federal government.   In summary, there are several existing and pending forms of financial aid for nursing students — through private, foundation and federal channels as well as the UNMC College of Nursing. All scholarship and financial aid applications are processed through the UNMC financial aid office after admission.   The process begins by filling out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid and a UNMC financial aid application.

  19. What is involved in being a graduate assistant?
    Graduate assistants receive free tuition and a monthly stipend in return for working 15 hours per week. Duties are varied and include administrative tasks, research and working in the Learning Resource Center. Slots are limited and competitive. Apply after graduate program acceptance. For details, contact a student services representative.

  20. How much is tuition?
    The total varies by specialty track. Multiply the graduate tuition rate by the number of credits for your chosen specialty. For required credits by specialty, see MSN specialty tracks.

  21. When are application and start dates?
    Some specialty tracks admit students each semester; others admit once annually. For details, see MSN key dates/calendar.